At the European Council Summit in Brussels, Prime Minister David Cameron has called for an EU-wide ban on high-powered semi-automatic weapons as part of a long-term plan to counter terrorism.
Ahead of European leaders gathering for the Summit to discuss the EU’s response to November’s horrifying terrorist attacks in Paris, the Prime Minister asked officials to draw up a package of proposals designed to tackle the ongoing terrorist threat which he could then raise at the Council with a view to agreement on a range of measures next year.
The plan is set to include a number of proposals to crack down on the illegal trade in firearms that will prevent terrorists from accessing weapons with which they seek to cause mass casualties.
Alongside the ban, the measures would include:
*greater sharing of ballistics data
*a new plan to improve firearms intelligence in the western Balkans, with a tougher legislative and enforcement framework and action to take firearms out of circulation
*a clear implementation for all EU Member States to deliver the restrictions and alert systems that can prevent terrorists from accessing material for explosives
The Prime Minister has also called for greater efforts to undermine ISIS ideology and online radicalisation.
Scale of the terrorist threat
“The horrific terrorist atrocities in Paris underlined the scale of the terrorist threat now facing Europe,” explained David Cameron. “A terrorist threat in one country is a danger to us all, so I believe there’s more we must do together to tackle the terrorist threat posed by ISIS.”
He continued: “We need to ensure that terrorists do not have the weapons with which they can wreak such tragedy. I’m calling for a new EU-wide ban on all high-powered semi-automatic weapons and greater co-operation to crack down on the smuggling trade and prevent guns coming in from the western Balkans.”
The Prime Minister concluded: “Together, we must do more to protect our citizens and the way of life which we hold so dear.”
Senior officials are also considering other measures designed to improve data sharing, strengthen border and transport security, disrupt terrorist financing and tackle extremism in the online space.